Blake Griffin and the Clippers were the topic in today’s CineSport video.
Blake Griffin enjoyed the best season of his NBA career, probably will finish in the Top 5 of the MVP voting, and at 25 years old, it feels like he’s on the cusp of being one of the elite players in the NBA.
But everything he accomplished on the court over the last six months was effectively dismissed when he flopped terribly in his first postseason game of 2014, fouling out in 19 minutes and scoring just 16 points. Griffin’s highlight? Dumping water on some guy in the front row after his sixth foul.
Griffin’s problems were two-fold:
1) From the jump, the referees called everything, hoping to keep everyone cool and avoid having tempers flare between these two for the third time this season. This hurt Andre Iguodala (fouled out) and Griffin. Neither could get into a rhythm on the court because they were subbed out so quickly and fearful of touch-fouls.
2) Doc Rivers, terrified of not having Griffin due to fouls, planted him on the bench for far too long in the second half. And his replacements – Danny Granger (1-of-6) and Big Baby Davis (horrible defensively) were atrocious. David Lee, who struggled defending Griffin when he was on the court, rolled offensively against the reserves (20 points, 13 rebounds) after a slow start.
If Griffin stays on the court, there’s no reason he shouldn’t go for 30-15 tonight. He can easily back down Lee in the post, and there’s no Andrew Bogut to block his shot. But it’s not as easy as Griffin producing. What are the Clippers going to do defensively against Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson? In the 4th quarter Golden State rallied with that backcourt going against the much small Chris Paul and Darren Collison. JJ Redick, who had a terrific game with 22 points in 30 minutes. But he’s a defensive liability.
So no pressure tonight, Blake Griffin – just stay out of foul trouble, score 30 points, and deliver a victory so the Clippers can avoid a 0-2 hole going on the road.
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